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I have to transfer some funds to my relatives in Ottawa, Canada every month to help them out.
What is the best way to do this avoiding transfer fees?

I'm willing to open new bank accounts if needed. Any specific banks?
My thought was just to give them a Canadian ATM card and they can cash out the money I drop in there.

Any thoughts?
Thanks

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Citibank, request a separate debit card/account, give them the card and let them take out cash at the ATM. Withdrawing at a Citi ATM abroad is free.

You could transfer money from another citi account. Not sure if citi would give you just ATM card (which would be preferable, so there's no need/risk of overdraft). You may be charged a certain foreign exchange fee if they take money in CAD, but check on that.

g00ber said: I have to transfer some funds to my relatives in Ottawa, Canada every month to help them out.
What is the best way to do this avoiding transfer fees?

I'm willing to open new bank accounts if needed. Any specific banks?
My thought was just to give them a Canadian ATM card and they can cash out the money I drop in there.

Any thoughts?
Thanks

Excellent idea. The tricky part is in avoiding fees. Most banks charge a fee when cash is taken from an ATM outside their network. The fee is usually substantially higher if the ATM is outside the United States. In addition, most banks charge a currency conversion fee of between one and three percent. Nearly everyone charges at least one percent, as that is the fee levied by Visa and MasterCard. If your relatives can find an ATM that doesn’t impose a surcharge, the Capital One Money Market Fund is a great option. After the initial deposit, there are no fees and no minimum balance is required. The account comes with an ATM card that has no fees and Capital One charges no fee at all to convert currency. You could use an ACH transfer to pull money from a bank or brokerage account. The money market fund permits three a month, which likely would be no problem for you as this account has a limited purpose. Unfortunately, this account does not refund ATM surcharges. If your relatives cannot find an ATM that does not impose a surcharge, then consider a Schwab Investor Checking or Fidelity MySmart Cash account. Both refund an unlimited number of ATM surcharges and only will impose the Visa one percent currency conversion fee on the transaction.

send it via paypal for no fees.

or send them your hsbc debit card, and have them withdraw it from an hsbc atm in canada.

frugalish said: Excellent idea. The tricky part is in avoiding fees. Most banks charge a fee when cash is taken from an ATM outside their network. The fee is usually substantially higher if the ATM is outside the United States. In addition, most banks charge a currency conversion fee of between one and three percent. Nearly everyone charges at least one percent, as that is the fee levied by Visa and MasterCard. If your relatives can find an ATM that doesn’t impose a surcharge, the Capital One Money Market Fund is a great option. After the initial deposit, there are no fees and no minimum balance is required. The account comes with an ATM card that has no fees and Capital One charges no fee at all to convert currency. You could use an ACH transfer to pull money from a bank or brokerage account. The money market fund permits three a month, which likely would be no problem for you as this account has a limited purpose. Unfortunately, this account does not refund ATM surcharges. If your relatives cannot find an ATM that does not impose a surcharge, then consider a Schwab Investor Checking or Fidelity MySmart Cash account. Both refund an unlimited number of ATM surcharges and only will impose the Visa one percent currency conversion fee on the transaction.

It has been discussed here many times that the least expensive way to convert currency when traveling in a foreign country is to take it out of a standard bank ATM. There is a buy/sell spread (fee), but it is smaller than any other exchange service.

You just have to find a bank with branches in both US and Canada. I believe that HSBC has been suggested often.

I use TD BankNorth to transfer money to TD Canada Trust account without any fee,
but both accounts are in my name.

If you intends to just open an account and give them a ATM, then TD Banknorth won't charge fee on withdrawal from TD Canada Trust ATM. And TD Canada Trust have plenty of branches/ATM in Ottawa or across Canada.

I would not suggest Citibank.. since they have about maybe 1 ATM per city in Canada.

The second choice would be HSBC but not sure about if they charge ATM fee.

elleve said: send it via paypal for no fees.Yes, but the receiving bank will charge them a currency conversion fee.

The OP may also want to take a look at sending money via XE, which generally has much better currency conversion rates than those charged by the big banks. For instance, CIBC's rates for converting CAD into USD will generally be 1.5%-2.00% worse than those you can obtain through XE. That's a rather incredible spread, especially if we are talking about large amounts.

revheck said: It has been discussed here many times that the least expensive way to convert currency when traveling in a foreign country is to take it out of a standard bank ATM. There is a buy/sell spread (fee), but it is smaller than any other exchange service.That's true, but this advice only applies to small cash withdrawals which you do while traveling in a foreign country. If you either need to send a fairly large amount to a foreign country or need to do so on a regular basis, you can do a LOT better than paying the standard currency conversion or buy/sell spreads.

You just have to find a bank with branches in both US and Canada.For fee-free ATM withdrawals, you can also use Bank of America, which allows fee-free ATM withdrawals from Scotiabank's ATM's in Canada. There are a million Scotiabank ATM's throughout Ottawa.

By the way, BOA has the same arrangements with Barclay's in the UK, BNP Paribas in France, Deutsche Bank in Germany, Westpac in Australia, etc...

nkling said: I use TD BankNorth to transfer money to TD Canada Trust account without any fee,
but both accounts are in my name.

If you intends to just open an account and give them a ATM, then TD Banknorth won't charge fee on withdrawal from TD Canada Trust ATM. And TD Canada Trust have plenty of branches/ATM in Ottawa or across Canada.




I like this idea. I dont mind opening two accounts (one in USA and one in Canada).
I'm guessing the conversion is market rate?
Also, I wonder if bank is Ameritrade?
I have an account with Ameritrade.

Thanks

g00ber said: nkling said: I use TD BankNorth to transfer money to TD Canada Trust account without any fee,
but both accounts are in my name.

If you intends to just open an account and give them a ATM, then TD Banknorth won't charge fee on withdrawal from TD Canada Trust ATM. And TD Canada Trust have plenty of branches/ATM in Ottawa or across Canada.




I like this idea. I dont mind opening two accounts (one in USA and one in Canada).
I'm guessing the conversion is market rate?
Also, I wonder if bank is Ameritrade?
I have an account with Ameritrade.

Thanks


Yes, the conversion rate is market rate.
TD Bank Finacial Group own part of the TD Ameritrade and fully own TD Bank North.
It used to be able to transfer money from TD Waterhouse (discount broker) to TD Waterhouse Bank USA (before they change to TD BankNorth). But thing changed after TD Waterhouse merged with Ameritrade.
TD Wtaerhouse became TD Ameritrade and TD Waterhouse Bank USA became TD BankNorth.

u might wanna try HSBC Easy Send

E*Trade Bank doesn't charge any fees for using your ATM card at foreign (or domestic) ATMs. Their exchange rate is pretty good too. Interbank market rate + ~0.2% in my experience.

Their ATM card is in the "Plus" network, and seems to work at most (but not all) foreign ATMs. I've had recent good experiences in Norway, France, Canada, and Hong Kong.

I need similar advise for my son who is taking spring semester in London. What is the best way to get money to him, and for him to withdraw. Also, what is the best cell phone to use over there. We have Verizon which will only roam to the tune of about $1.50 per minute. We also have a tracfone which claims to work in England. thanks, weescot

Economist said: Citibank, request a separate debit card/account, give them the card and let them take out cash at the ATM. Withdrawing at a Citi ATM abroad is free....

Someone just started a thread indicating that Citibank is ending this.

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/messageview.php?catid=52&threadid=773573&highlight_key=y&keyword1=%2BATM+%2BForeign

Thanks for the heads-up. There are a few months left of the no-fee deal, though. I wonder why citibank is doing that, though. Probably something that has to do with the latest financial results - so they're looking for revenue sources.

gatzdon said: Economist said: Citibank, request a separate debit card/account, give them the card and let them take out cash at the ATM. Withdrawing at a Citi ATM abroad is free....

Someone just started a thread indicating that Citibank is ending this.

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/messageview.php?catid=52&threadid=773573&highlight_key=y&keyword1=%2BATM+%2BForeign

I'm thinking about using XE Trade - any feedback from those who have used this for US-to-Canada transfers?



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